31st October 2007

States of Guernsey voted to lower the voting age

Guernsey has often led the way where the mainland has later followed. Its local airline, Aurigny, was the first to ban smoking on all of its flights, and Guernsey was a whole year ahead of the mainland when it abolished the death penalty. Even then, the law had lain dormant for decades since the gruesome execution of John Tapner.

It did it again on 31 October 2007. On that day it moved to reduce the minimum age for voting in elections from 18 to 16. The proposal itself had to be voted on by the island’s Deputies, who passed the motion by 30 votes to 15. The change gained royal sanction and went into law on 19 December 2007. This required that amendments be made to the Reform Law of 1948, which governs how the island manages its elections.

Jersey had already implemented a similar change itself.

Eligibility to vote

Anyone who wants to vote has to be on the electoral roll. For this they must be ordinarily resident on Guernsey (and have been for five years overall, or the last two years consecutively) and at least 15 years old.

Voters in Herm are subject to the same conditions as those in Guernsey since the island falls within the electoral district of St Peter Port South. Sark, however, is treated separately and has set its minimum voting age at 17.

The minimum voting age in Alderney remains 18 for electing members of the States of Alderney, two representatives of which also sit in the States of Guernsey.


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Other events that occured in October

Guernsey Post Office was established 1st
Guernsey switched to Reichsmarks 2nd
Sark was the target of Operation Basalt 3rd
Sark voted for democracy 4th
Guernsey lifeboat saved a Swedish schooner 5th
Jeeves actor died in Guernsey 6th
Sarnia Theatre celebrated its most successful year 7th
The Story of Adele H opened in cinemas 8th
Howards’ Way came to Guernsey 9th
Guernsey Ladies’ College opened 10th
A Trislander ate itself between Jersey and Guernsey 11th
The Channel Islands’ king set sail for England 12th
Major General Sir Isaac Brock died 13th
Footballer Matt Le Tissier was born 14th
Island FM brings commercial radio to Guernsey 15th
Channel Television saw off a rival broadcaster 16th
The first mines were dug on Sark 17th
Sark’s Stocks Hotel was damaged by fire 18th
Elizabeth College’s foundation stone was laid 19th
Hitler ordered the Channel Islands’ fortification 20th
Guernsey’s stone crackers demanded a pay rise 21st
The desalination plant opened 22nd
Sir Charles Hayward buys Jethou for £91,000 23rd
Guernsey Monopoly board game went on sale 24th
Dame Sibyl Hathaway chose her Desert Island Discs 25th
GUNS founder Charles Machon died 26th
Bailiff Sir Peter de Havilland was born 27th
A man “disappeared” from a Guernsey ferry 28th
Express & Star bought Guernsey Press 29th
The first lighthouses were built on the Casquets 30th
States of Guernsey voted to lower the voting age 31st